Bad Religion, Converge, Hot Water make Pastepunk's top 25. has announced it's top 25 Best Releases of 2004...

Well, here it is... every zine editor's pride and glory - a year end "best of" list. Of course, "best of" is a misleading phrase. The releases discussed below represent my favorite musical offerings of 2004. They're the things that got me through the year, through the best of times, the worst of times, and everything in between. If there's something on here that you're not familiar with, I whole-heartedly hope that you decide to check it out.

Coming in at #1 we have Bad Religion's 'The Empire Strikes First'. Hereis what they had to say:

1. BAD RELIGION -- The Empire Strikes First (Epitaph) Did anyone not expect me to name this my favorite album of 2004? I will never be able in words, to stress enough how important BAD RELIGION is to my outlook on life, and The Empire Strikes First furthers along the education process. It's more than just the incredible music and miles-ahead-of-everyone-else songwriting -- it's the spirit of electricity that runs rampant through this band in full acknowledgment of the power that it wields. The invective social commentary found on songs like "Let Them Eat War," "Sinister Rouge," "Los Angeles Is Burning," and "God's Love," seeps in through the pores, and travels directly into one's brain. If knowledge is power, BAD RELIGION, and 2004's The Empire Strikes First sparkle with a megawatt allure.

#3 on the list is Hot Water Music with 'The New What Next':

3. HOT WATER MUSIC -- The New What's Next (Epitaph) For a band to "bring the rock," the task isn't all that difficult. But the stakes get bigger and tougher once musical depth comes into play, and right now, I don't think there's any punk-influenced band going that shows off more depth than HOT WATER MUSIC. The New What's Next impresses in every possible degree; from inexplicably memorable bass lines, deft guitar playing, thunderous percussion, and an organic tag-team vocal attack that's virtually unparalleled right now. After nearly a decade on the prowl, there's still a "pull up the floorboards" enthusiasm running through this band, and The New What's Next is easily, their most expansive work to date.

And last but not least it's Converge at #18 with their Epitaph debut 'You Fail Me':

18. CONVERGE -- You Fail Me (Epitaph) You Fail Me is a blizzard of meticulously crafted songs that carry that a large chip on their collective shoulders. CONVERGE has never been a band that settled for merely passing, and if there was one album in 2004 that needed to be written to lockdown and cage elements of desperation, it's You Fail Me. Teetering between both the metalcore sound that this band helped invent, and more unorthodox compositions daring to push the limits of what constitutes an organic production style, You Fail Me is bound to leave your body weakened, and perhaps, missing a pint of blood or two...

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